Bemidji State sweeps UM-Crookston, 5-4 and 15-8
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
April 17, 2002
box scores - [game 1][game 2]

CROOKSTON, Minn. - The Bemidji State Beavers snapped out of a mini-skid which saw them drop three of four games to complete a season sweep of the Minnesota-Crookston Golden Eagles, 5-4 and 15-8 this afternoon in Crookston. The win completes a four-game season sweep of the Golden Eagles for the Beavers after an April 10 BSU double-header sweep in Bemidji.

Senior outfielder Ben Woodford, the defending NSIC Player of the Week, extended his hitting streak to 18 consecutive games with a pair of hits in today’s double-header. He went 1 for 3 in Game 1 and 1 for 3 with three runs scored in Game 2.

BSU missed a chance to get on the board first in Game 1. With runners standing at first and second with one out, Nate Olson flied out to left field and Brian Beuning got hung up between first and second trying to advance on the tag. He was chased down from behind by Eagle shortstop Travis Scheving before Woodford, who was attempting to score from second base, could cross home plate.

Crookston grabbed an early 3-0 lead in Game 1, plating three runs in the home half of the third inning. All three Golden Eagle runs came with two out in the frame with the big blow coming on a two-RBI double from center-fielder Steven Lee. BSU climbed back into the game with three runs of its own in the fourth as the first two Beaver hitters reached and were sacrificed into scoring position by Isaac Smieja. Scott Petrowski was hit by a pitch to load the bags, and an RBI single from Neil Huewe and a two-RBI double from Woodford pulled the Beavers even.

BSU grabbed a 4-3 lead in the fifth on a leadoff home run from Ross, but the Eagles evened things up at four runs apiece with a solo home run from Ryan Kill. But the Beavers would scored the eventual game-winner in the top of the seventh on Nate Olson’s fifth home run of the year, 5-4.

Shaun Zenner got the nod on the hill for BSU and pitched a solid game, going six innings to earn his team-leading fifth win of the season. He allowed four runs (four earned) on seven hits, striking out seven batters and walking none. Brian Beuning moved in from shortstop to pitch the seventh, and allowed just a walk to earn his team-high fourth save.

Woodford had two RBI to lead the Beavers, while Beuning and Olson had a team-high two hits apiece.

Sevrin Anderson went the distance for Crookston, allowing five BSU runs (four earned) on eight hits. He struck out one and walked three to fall to 1-5 on the year.

BSU plated a pair of runs in the top of the first to start Game 2, taking advantage of the first two of what would become a long string of Golden Eagle errors. Woodford reached on a throwing error to lead off the game and would later score on a fielding error as BSU went up 2-0 on unearned runs.

But Crookston would answer in the home half of the frame, plating four runs and chasing BSU starter Nate Olson after just one third of an inning. Olson surrendered a leadoff home run to Mike Kill, then allowed singles to Aaron Johnson and Steven Lee before striking out catcher Mike Kragenbring. Ryan Kill then parked a three-run bomb over the fence, and when Olson follwed the home run with a walk to Jacob Thelen, BSU head coach Jim Grimm went to the bullpen.

Nate Heim came on in relief and pitched 3 2/3 innings, eventually earning the win for BSU to improve to 3-0. He allowed just two runs (two earned) on four hits, striking out one and walking two. Tyler Norland pitched the game’s final three innings to earn his second save of the season. He also allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits, striking out one. BSU’s bullpen was solid, allowing just four runs in 6 2/3 innings of work.

Crookston’s lead was short-lived, however, as BSU came back and plated five runs in the top of the second inning. The big blow in the frame came on a bases-clearingl, three-RBI double from Shaun Ross. The five-run frame, followed by a pair of runs in the top of the third put BSU ahead 9-4 and the Beavers would not look back.

Crookston plated single runs in the second and fourth to pull within 9-6, but BSU’s bats again put up a five-spot in the top of the fifth to put the game out of reach. Isaac Smieja led off the frame with a pinch-hit single and was immediately sacrificed to second, and after a walk and a strikeout BSU had runners at first and second with two out. A two-RBI single from Ross got BSU on the board in the inning, and an RBI single from Olson and a two-run home run from Derek Owen rounded out the Beaver scoring in the frame.

The Golden Eagles picked up a pair of runs in the fifth off of reliever Tyler Norland on a solo home run and a sacrifice fly to pull within 14-8, but BSU tacked on an insurance run on Crookston’s sixth error of the game in the top of the seventh to go up 15-8. Norland retired the Golden Eagles 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win for BSU.

The BSU offense churned out 16 hits in Game 2, led by a 4 for 5 effort at the plate by Shaun Ross. Ross added five RBI and three runs scored. Olson went 3 for 4 with three RBI and two runs scored to balance out his rough start on the hill, and Derek Owen went 1 for 3 with three RBI and a run scored on his third longball of the season. Neil Huewe went 3 for 3 from the nine hole, and Woodford scored three times from his leadoff spot.

BSU improved to 14-8 with the double-header sweep, 9-3 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. The Golden Eagles saw their record fall to 5-19 on the year, 5-7 in the NSIC. BSU is back in action this weekend with a home series against the Minnesota-Morris Cougars, April 20-21.

• BSU completed a four-game season series sweep of UM-Crookston with today’s wins. It is BSU’s first four-game sweep of an NSIC foe since March 2-3, 1997 when BSU downed the Northern State Wolves, 8-0, 3-2, 11-4 and 10-9. It is also just the second four-game sweep of an NSIC foe in the Jim Grimm era.
• It is also just the eighth four-game sweep of a conference series since the then-Northern Intercollegiate Conference moved from three-game conference series to four-game series for the 1976 season (UM-Crookston 2001, Northern State ‘97, UM-Morris ‘93, Southwest State ‘88, Northern State ‘87, UM-Morris ‘82, Northern State ‘82, Southwest State ‘77).
• BSU has already played more games this season (22) than all of 2001 (20), thanks to poor weather conditions last year.
• BSU has now taken each of the last seven meetings with UM-Crookston and now leads the all-time series, 8-4. The Beavers are now 3-1 all-time in Crookston.